How to Bring a Room Together: Stylish Carpet and Rug Ideas
We all know someone who’s got that special ability of bringing a group together. One minute everyone’s kind of floating around, things are a tad awkward…Enter glue guy/girl, and suddenly, everything gels, energy’s bouncing off the walls, everyone’s part of the group (except that one weirdo in the corner…there’s always the one).
Well, let us introduce you to the happy glue of décor land: the humble, homely rug. Ok, not necessarily so humble. Rugs can definitely be loud and proud. Or they can blend in like a suave secret service spy, quietly working their magic. Well-chosen, this little piece of carpeting can work wonders for just about any room in your home, tying your décor together visually, anchoring the space, and of course, providing some comfort and warmth – both visually and literally.
If you feel like something’s missing in a room, or you’re craving an update but only have room in your budget for one item, a rug may just be the best choice you could make. Here are just a few of the ways a stylish carpet or rug can bring the magic to your home décor party.
Turn up the volume!
Sometimes the décor in a room can be beautifully well-coordinated, but it’s just not making a loud enough statement. If things are feeling a little bland and muted, a bold rug can be the perfect way to turn up the volume without going overboard and overwhelmed. Loving a new colour trend or geometric print, but feel like it’s too over the top to go on a wall or piece of furniture? You’re probably right. Fortunately, bright colours and patterns blend in much easier when they’re literally on the down-low – so go bold with an area rug, and take your décor to a new level you can absolutely live with.
(Or turn it down)
On the flip side, maybe you’ve gone bold with your décor, and feel like there’s a bit too much competition in the room. Choosing a more neutral, muted rug, ideally one that subtly picks up on a few of the key colour accents of the room, but perhaps in lighter hues, is an ideal way to quieten things down and bring in a sense of harmony. One great option is using a faded vintage rug to ‘mute’ your overall look – they’re totally back in style, and work perfectly paired with contemporary style furniture.
Of course, carpets and rugs are also a great way to literally quieten a room with their sound absorption qualities, especially in the nursery, on echoey hardwood floors, or when you want to party without making mortal enemies of your downstairs apartment neighbours…
Take the stage
On the other hand, rugs work just as well being the centre of attention. When redecorating or designing from scratch, many interior designers recommend starting with a rug as the focal point or statement piece for the room. Choose a colour and style you love, then work your other items around it. Picking up on some of the rug’s tonal highlights with scatter cushions, curtains or even the choice of wall paint, makes for a good foundation, then you can layer your colour palette from there.
Layer the look
Speaking of layers… there’s been a bit of a rug-of-war over whether it’s a design yay or nay to layer rugs on top of larger ones or wall-to-wall carpets, but majority vote over the last few years is all for the layered look. An extra layer of rug lets you play with colour and texture on a carpeted floor, and offers some extra protection in high traffic areas like passages and entrance halls. It’s also a great way to add in some softness or create a fresh well of colour on top of more neutral or rough carpeting like jute and sisal, particularly in a bedroom or baby room.
Rug it up, room by room
Whatever the style of your home, there’s a rug for every room. Here are some top tips in the trade on how to use rugs’ multiple talents to bring out the best in any home space.
Liven up the living room
Because open tiles or other non-carpeted flooring is the popular trend these days, the living room area rug has become a mainstay of contemporary homes. Nothing beats the practicality of tiles, but a feature rug is great to bring in just that bit of warmth and connection, while helping to define and anchor the living space. Plus, it’s easier to clean, and simple to switch out if you decide that leopard print that looked so hot last year is starting to feel just a little too...leopard printy.
To make sure your area rug achieves the desired effect, be sure to choose one that’s large enough to extend beneath at least the front legs of all the sofas or chairs in your main seating arrangement.
If you’re struggling with colour choices, a rule of thumb is to pick a rug that features at least two of the room’s accent colours.
Define and dine
Another popular feature of contemporary homes is the open plan living/dining area combo – but the trick is to still give the two functional spaces a sense of definition and balance. The easiest way is with two rugs that complement one another (Rug 1: “Oh, what a stunning weave you have there, sir!” Rug 2: “And what splendid geometry you’re sporting, old chap! …However, I believe the instruction was to complement one another.” Rug 1: “Ah, too right, too right.”)
Size-wise, a dining area rug should extend at least 60cm each side of your dining table to give enough room for the chairs to be pushed out comfortably.
For this spill-prone zone, you’ll also want to go with something that’s more practical to clean. Opt for a flatter weave with low to no pile. Save the sheepskins, shaggies and priceless silk beauties for somewhere like the boudoir!
Roll out some bedroom beats
Whether your bedroom is carpeted or not, rugs make a beautiful and foot-friendly frame to nicely set off your bed as the focal point of the room.
Style 1: The island – Choose a rug that’s big enough to allow at least the lower two thirds of your bed to stand atop (or alternately, the whole bed plus the night stands). In either case, the rug should extend at least 30cm beyond the edges of the bed for a double, and 45cm for a queen or king size. Leave at least a half-metre gap between the rug and outer walls.
Style 2: The running pair – If you prefer not to hide too much of the floor, matching runners or smaller rugs along either side of the bed (no longer than the bed’s length) create a beautiful symmetrical look.
Style 3: The footer - A smaller rug can also be very enticing placed at the foot of the bed. The rug should be a little longer than the width of the bed to feel balanced. If you also have a bench or ottoman at the foot of your bed, the rug should be deep enough to extend beneath it to the edge of the bed.
Though it might seem a bit counter-intuitive to put a carpet in the food prep area, kitchen runners have become a major trend to turn this into more of a living space (after all, you basically live there, don’t you, moms? At least being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen can now come with cushioned carpeting for those tired feet!)
A faded vintage piece can be a great way to ease into the look. After all, it’s put in some long hours, so it should fit right in here. The kitchen is also a great place to bring in some fun colour to brighten up those clinical floors – plus, patterns are great for hiding dirt and those inevitable cooking stains.
If you’ve got a floor needing a facelift, or a room or two lacking that bit of magnetic magic, take a look at Cielo’s beautiful selection of hand-crafted contemporary rugs and carpets to help bring any room together.
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